Multiple Myeloma

Multiple Myeloma (MM) is a neoplasm of plasma cells and is the second most common hematological malignancy, accounting for 1% of all malignancies. It approximately affects 1-5/100000 individuals worldwide each year, primarily affecting the elderly population with a median age of 70 years. The disease is characterized by the presence of a monoclonal protein in serum or urine and increased plasma cells in the bone marrow. MM evolves from a premalignant condition known as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).

Chemotherapy consisting of melphalan and prednisolone has been the main therapy for MM, with a response rate of 50%. Other aggressive therapies such as VBMCP have resulted in superior response rates but no benefit to survival. Autologous stem cell transplantation can improve response rates to 75-90% and results in remission rates between 20-40%.